The Gathering/ Pastor Barry Bruce: This I Believe Series/ Spirit Filled (Lesson 6) To hear this message and others go to THEGATHERINGHG.COM
The Holy Spirit
In our last lesson we learned how all things become new when we give our lives over to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Newness doesn’t come to us because of the hard work we do to be holy. We are saved not by our works but by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8). It is His Spirit that works in us (Philippians 2:13) to produce the holiness that He requires (1 Peter 1:15-16). In this lesson we will learn all about The Holy Spirit’s working in the Christian life.
The Dove Matthew 3:16, Deuteronomy 4:15-19, Romans 1:20
Of all the creatures under heaven God chose the dove to represent the likeness of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16). A dove even illustrated this at Jesus baptism in bodily form (Luke 3:22). Some facts about the dove help us to understand why:
DOVE FACT 1: The only bird that feeds its young milk (from the glands in the neck) God desires us to long for the “pure milk” of His word. Peter 2:2 DOVE FACT 2: The dove only mates once in life. A faithful bird. God is faithful in all He does. Psalm 145:13 DOVE FACT 3: The only bird with a world wide association of peace. The Holy Spirit brings God’s peace. Romans 14:7, 15:3 DOVE FACT 4: The bird Biblically associated with new beginnings and new life. The dove came back to Noah with an olive branch after the flood. Genesis 8:10-12 The Holy Spirit brings new life and hope for new beginnings. John 6:63 DOVE FACT 5: The dove has 9 flight feathers (upward pointing on either wing) that equip them to fly. The Holy Spirit gives 9 “gifts” and 9 “fruits” to believers to equip them. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, Galatians 5:22-23 DOVE FACT 6: The dove has 5 underlying tail feathers, like a rudder giving balance & direction. The 5 fold ministry of the Church “giving some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers” brings balance/ direction to the church. Ephesians 4:11-12 DOVE FACT 7: The white dove is Biblically colored to represent the Holy Spirit. Biblically the color white always stands for purity, holiness and righteousness. Daniel 7:9
We can see above that there are many metaphorical similarities between the dove and the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit is not a literal dove. We can also find many metaphorical similarities between a serpent and the Devil (intriguing, cunning,biting , mesmerizing: Revelation 12:7), but the Devil is not a snake. We are not to see them as such but to understand them better through the illustrations that God has provided. In the same way the Spirit of God is not nature or the stars in the sky. We simply understand His existence and work through such things (Deuteronomy 4:15-19, Romans 1:20). The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Trinity, not because He is less than the Father and Son (they are One) but because that is usually the order they are mentioned together. We know the Holy Spirit is a person by His names: Comforter (John 14:26), Guide (John 16:13), Intercessor (Romans 8:26-27). The person hood of the Holy Spirit is also shown by His characteristics: He has a will (1 Corinthians 12:11), a mind (Romans 8:27) and great knowledge John 14:26.
Let Him Work! Ephesians 1:13-14, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The power of the Holy Spirit is the power of God and He wants to empower you in your walk with Him. In fact, apart from Him we cannot live the life that God desires us to live. Ephesians 1:13-14 teaches us that the Holy Spirit is the seal of salvation for all those who believe. He is the deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until we are in glory. The Bible clearly indicates that the Holy Spirit is received at the moment of salvation, but others believe that the “baptism of the Spirit” is another special act of God given only to those Christians who specifically ask. The Bible clearly teaches that the filling of the Spirit is an ongoing process in the Christian life (sanctification: the process of holiness). We only grow and experience God as we submit to His Spirit. As we read God’s word we should always be open to what He wants to do in us and through us. We should be “doers” not just those who hear (James 1:22). To do otherwise “grieves” the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) and “quenches” the work He wants to accomplish in us (1 Thessalonians 5:19). The most miserable person in the world is the Christian who refuses the work of the Holy Spirit in his/her life. His carnal desires will not let him enjoy his Christian life and the Holy Spirit will not allow him to enjoy his sin. Let Him have His way (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
“Be Filled” Ephesians 5:15-20, Galatians 5:22-26, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
As we established, the permanent indwelling of the Spirit is not for a select few believers, but for all believers. The “filling of the Spirit” ( Ephesians 5:18) speaks to being so yielded to the Holy Spirit that He possess us fully. You will know the one who is “filled” by their “fruit” (actions: Matthew 7:16).
The Holy Spirit equips the believer with both “gifts” and “fruits” to live and act according to God’s good pleasure. The 9 “fruits” (Galatians 5:22-23) are characteristics of God that show up in increasing measure as we allow Him to work in our lives. The 9 “gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) are given at will by the Holy Spirit for the “common good” (to accomplish His work). There are different gifts given in different measure by the same God. These are given as He determines. It is not some great Christian contest to be “filled” more than another. It is a call to all. God wants us to fly like the dove and bring His peace and new life to mankind. Will you let Him fill you?